BitConnect

Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Amazing 150″ Panasonic Life Wall TV


This is the Life Wall by Panasonic. An extremely thin 150″ TV that does amazing things. It has face recognition so that it recognizes the face(s) that watch it and adjusts the display or program to that person’s preferences automatically.

How about having a TV that will move with you as you walk around the living room to keep the display right in front of you? The display would be large or small depending on how far away from the screen you were. It could display a screen saver instead of a black screen when turned off.

Powerful life-size images could dance with you, and videophone linkups would look like the caller was in the same room.

Video games would take on a whole new dimension with endless possibilities. School could be at home while the teacher could be at school. IP cameras would give the feeling of being there. None of this is science fiction. This is all part of Panasonic’s Life Wall TV.

Panasonic says it will go into production in 2009!

Star Wars X-Wing Automobile [PIC]


http://www.shawnandcolleen.com/shawn/Pages/hwing/photos.html

NINE INCH NAILS - BSOD


Trent i thought you were a MAC user!!!

HP Breaks the 24-Hour Notebook Battery Life Barrie

Holy moly, talk about being charged up! HP claims its new EliteBook 6930p can deliver up to 24 hours of battery runtime, or 5 hours longer than Dell's Latitude E6400, provided it comes equipped with an optional ultra-capacity battery.

“All-day computing has been the holy grail of notebook computing,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, HP. “With the HP EliteBook 6930p, customers no longer have to worry about their notebook battery running out before their work day is over.”

While we can't rule out a dose of voodoo magic as a contributing factor, much of the credit goes to the Intel 80GB SSD drive and 14.1-inch mercury-free Illumi-Lite LED display, both of which HP says are required add-ons to make the feat possible. And that's not with a wimpy processor either - the least powerful CPU in the 6930p's lineup is an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400. Toss a spill resistant keyboard and an inner magnesium shell into the mix and HP has one tough mother on its hands.

Image Credit: HP

Living Chucky dolls invade Times Square

Passersby gawked, laughed and sneered at the six fully-grown flame-haired ‘dolls’ who crossed roads and stalked street corners brandishing butcher’s knives.

Each Chucky wore the horror film character’s trademark blue dungarees and striped long-sleeve T-shirt.

The eye-catching stunt was designed to promote the release of Child’s Play, Chucky’s 20th Birthday Edition DVD.

Thank God I didn’t see this firsthand in the city yesterday or I’d have probably sprinted away in tears. Or curled up in the fetal position looking around futilely for someone to hold me. It’s nice that midgets can get work and whatever but seriously this is kind of traumatic. I was very young when Child’s Play came out and I had one of those My Buddy dolls the movie was vaguely based on. I ended up scribbling marker all over the dolls face, shoving it in the closet, as I sat terrified at the edge of my bed. So, my parents’ negligence aside, I don’t have the fondest memories of Chucky or any doll with dead, soulless eyes and overalls.

On the plus side, Kid Sister and I had a long and fulfilling relationship that would last me until I could afford a Real Doll. So I guess it wasn’t all bad.

The Dark Knight Meets Mr. Freeze

By George 'El Guapo' Roush


Reader Ballack sent me this picture of Arnold standing by Christian Bale. Long as this isn't a great Photoshop job, it means Arnold is involved in a limited capacity. This is ALL rumor for now until things are confirmed, but it's cool news nonetheless. There were reports that Arnold has a presence in the film, whether or not this was taken on set or at a lunch meeting, we don't know.

Ballack has more info on Arnold and T4. I'm not fixing his spelling because I hate right clicking. I don't know why he calls me Georgie but as long as he sends me pics and news he can call me Susan for all I care:

Hi Georgie,

Hope all is well. You never seemed to run with the email i sent you containing the Terminator 4 Salvation images which WB released a week later. [I never got that e-mail, I don't think -Ed.] Noneytheless, i've got a sneak peak for you which will make your day. Please find attached an Image of the Governator and John Connor meeting for the first time, yes it was on the set of T4.

I should make it clear, i have varous contacts in WB and from what i've been told the fans are in for a treat. The premise of Arnie's involvement is to have a fully rendered digital face of Arnie replacing the recently cast Roland Kickinger (The Younger version of Arnie). It seems the Director Mc G will in no doubt try all he can to ensure the Governator has some sort of involvement and as a result Arnold was on set providing key ADR (Voice over) for the visual effects guys to reference during post production. You have to remember, Arnold's commitments are preventing his return to the movie business and this seems the best logical way to ensure his involvement.


You may recall Christopher Lee's face being embossed on a stunt double in the Star Wars prequels?, imagine that with Arnold and you will get the picture. With ILM's best on the scene, it looks like Mc G is trying to get a head start on James Cameron's photo realistic stereoscopic camera systems.



Well, that makes some sense. Just put Arnold's face from the first Terminator over Roland's and have Arnold do some voiceovers. Hope it's true! Thanks to Ballack for the e-mail. He sent us some other news but we're following up on it before posting.

By the way, did you guys see that great ass in the picture? Arnold must be working out.

UPDATE: CHECK OUT THE VIDEO HERE!

30 stunning images of the Large Hadron Collider


Since the Large Hadron Collider didn't destroy the world this morning, isn't it high time we forgive and forget? And what better way than with a meaty gallery of industrial goodness from all stages of its development, cataloging the effort to build the largest particle accelerator ever. Of course, today was just a test, the collisions come later...

read more | digg story

The Club at Chops

Where to Smoke & Eat in Hotlanta


By Christopher Barry

After breezing past the maître d' with a knowing glance, you weave past the restaurant's patrons to the open-air kitchen, eyes furtively scanning the room, wondering if anyone noticed the two-robusto bulge inside your sport coat. One sharp glance back as you slide your magnetic keycard through the reader and enter a classy speakeasy of the new Prohibition, a much-needed haven for smokers in a time when enjoying a cigar requires double-0 style secrecy. This is The Club at Chops, a semi-private dining room in one of Atlanta's premier steak houses, and the ultimate place to smoke in the city.

Although the Bond routine isn't necessary, you could dine at Chops dozens of times without knowing of The Club's existence. In 2000, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group founder and owner—and cigar aficionado—I. Pano Karatassos opened The Club at Chops as a gathering place for friends, and he approves every new member. "It's like a family here, honestly, even between the staff and the members," says Jim Monteleone, The Club's general manager. "Many of the servers have been here for five, six years and even since the Club opened." The membership, which comprises both men and women, stands at roughly 650, including some non-Atlanta residents.

Inside the humidor room—which with its sliding track ladders more resembles a library—brass nameplates delineate the private boxes of cigar-storing club members, who range from a certain NBA analyst with a unique golf swing to one of Napa's most celebrated winemakers. More than 200 personal humidors are available for rental.

Annual dues for membership are $700 for individuals and $1,900 for corporate memberships, which grants access to four members of the same company. But there's a new way to score a spot at The Club, among the vivid hues of leather and mosaic tile, and that's to secure a one-day pass ($25) and a reservation. Though you probably won't be seated at the Frank Sinatra or the Ray Charles tables (the best seats in the house, named for the portraits on the walls above them), you'll still have access to the humidor with 10 different cigar brands for sale (La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 7 and Davidoff Special "R", among others), the live jazz five nights a week, the top-shelf liquor and the extensive wine list, plus the full restaurant menu.

Though the perks and contemporary speakeasy ambience are impressive, the cuisine is exceedingly noteworthy. Our surf and turf included a lightly battered, flash-fried half jumbo lobster tail and a barrel-cut filet mignon, served with some seriously substantial onion rings and a sauté of spinach and mushrooms crowned with parmesan. A twist of lemon in the sautéed spinach provides a perfect hint of acidity to pair with the steak and to balance the sweetness of the lobster and its best friend, drawn butter. The locally sourced prime beef is hand-selected based upon the farms where the cattle were raised; the steaks, including several sizes of filet mignon, New York strip and the carnivore's holy grail, Wagyu Kobe beef, then undergo a 45-day wet aging process to maximize tenderness. A two-sided simultaneous sear at 1,800 degrees results in a seasoned salt char top and bottom while the cool red center is concentrated with the beef's natural juices. It's a steak that begs to be eaten like an apple and celebrated with a caveman grunt. Instead, diners toast with Port and fire up Macanudos with a domino effect: as soon as one person lights up, everyone does.

Mr. Bond would be proud.

The Club at Chops
70 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
404.262.2675
www.buckheadrestaurants.com/chops.html

HOURS:
Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Monday-Thursday 5:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 5:30 p.m.-Midnight
Sunday 5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Dell Studio Hybrid PC



Dell Studio Hybrid PC Goes Green to Tangle With Mac Mini

The Dell Studio Hybrid doesn’t run on ethanol and D-cells, but it does consume about 70 percent less electricity than those hulking desktop towers. This über-cute little media-cruncher comes in your choice of rich automotive colors (or bamboo, for Pier 1-themed abodes), and you can swap colors on demand with interchangeable sleeves.

The Hybrid starts at $500, but by the time you trick it out with goodies like a slot-loading Blu-ray drive, Wireless-N adapter, Logitech’s diNovo Mini Keyboard (a must if you’re planning couch time), a digital TV tuner, and the bamboo sleeve (a $130 upgrade -- WTF?), the price rockets north of $1,300. Hybrids can serve desk duty or accent your living room: Even the base model comes stocked with HDMI port (DVI, too), so it’s a cinch to pair with HDTV. Blu-ray movies at 1920 x 1080 did just fine aside from a video stutter every time we adjusted the volume. Dell scores big points for style, power conservation and customization.

WIRED: Sips power, unlike those heinous watt-guzzling towers. Swappable color sleeves let you change the paint job to match your mood -- or paint job. Reports for media-center duty with HDMI port and slot-loading Blu-ray drive. Metal stand cleverly morphs between vertical and horizontal positions.

TIRED: Wussy integrated graphics choke on 3-D games. Looks rigged for silent running, but actually runs a little noisy. $130 bamboo sleeve will only appeal to aristocratic pandas.

$1,365 (as tested), Dell

7 out of 10

The Ballad of Sarah Palin

This is Very Scary that should could be out next VP....or even President



If you don’t know who Sarah Palin is or what she stands for, no worries for your not alone. Luckily for all of us The Ballad of Sarah Palin was created for those of us that wish to learn more about the Alaskan MILF.

Girls Next Door Do National Lampoon


Partying it up Playboy-style on Saturday night, National Lampoon threw a big shindig at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills called A Night of Fantasy with The Girls Next Door, with Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson leading the way.

XM-307: It Looks and Functions Like a Machine Gun, Doubles as Grenade Launcher

At just under 2-minutes, a skilled soldier can convert the XM-307 auto cannon into the XM-312 machine gun. Continue reading to see more. Click here for first picture in gallery.

Overview

Developed by General Dynamics, the XM-307 fires 25mm ammunition with almost no recoil. Because of this, unmanned vehicles and aircraft are commonly equipped with the XM-307. In just under 2-minutes, it can be transformed into the XM-312 machine gun capable of shooting 260-rounds per minute -- .50-caliber.

Video


Hayden Panettiere at the fifth Annual Fashion Rocks NY

Anna Kournikova in Maxim Germany

Anna Kournikova doing what she does best. Modelling for the October version of German Maxim Magazine.

Getting to know Matt Cassel

Oldie but goodie, article written circa 2006

The Patriots drafted Matt Cassel in the seventh round (230th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-2-inch, 222-pound quarterback backed up two Heisman Trophy winners at Southern Cal in Carson Palmer, now of the Cincinnati Bengals, and current USC signal caller Matt Leinart. The California native was impressive in training camp and shined in his first preseason contest by completing 13 of 21 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals. Cassel saw significant action on January 1, 2006 against the Miami Dolphins where he completed 11 of 20 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, registering a 116.2 quarterback rating. Cassel sat down with us to look at his life both on and off the football field.

FAVORITES

What is your favorite appetizer before a big meal? Calamari.

What was your favorite video game growing up? Super Mario Brothers. I was pretty good. I knew all the secret levels.

What was your favorite hobby as a kid? I collected baseball and football cards. My most valuable was probably a Mark McGwire rookie card.

What is your favorite vehicle that you have ever owned? The only vehicle I have ever owned is the Nissan Xterra I'm driving around now. It's my brother's car and he let me use it when I came out here. I never had a car in high school or college.

What is your favorite Pete Carroll moment? The first day he came and spoke with the team. He put a video on that captured all the great USC athletes of our time. It showed them in the moment. He played it to Aerosmith's song "Dream On" and then he spoke to the team about intensity and what he expected of the program. Right away you knew there was something special about him.

What is your favorite material possession? My shoes. I have to wear them every day. I need something that is comfortable, but at the same time looks good.

OFF THE FIELD

If you could play another professional sport, what would it be? Baseball. It's a great sport and I have always played it since I was young.

What is one thing you wish you were better at? Golf. Everybody wishes they were better at golf. I would consider myself average to below average on most days.

What has been the biggest transition to living in New England? The weather. Also the fact that I went from one side of the country to the other. I was moving away from family and friends.

Who is the best-dressed player on the team? Rosevelt Colvin, by far. He is always sharp. He has all the oils and ointments. You would think he ran a beauty salon.

What is something that annoys you? Standing in long lines, like at the grocery store or the DMV.

You were a hit at Larry Izzo's karaoke event.Where did you learn how to sing and dance like that? I have never learned to sing and I still to this day will never be able to. I'm all about showmanship to cover up my bad voice. I learned my dance steps from New Kids On the Block tapes.

What was the worst job you ever had? My first job stocking the inventory at the shoe store Finish Line.

Describe the lifestyle of a quarterback at Southern Cal? It was a great life. It is a high profile position and it comes with a lot of pressure. It was a great experience. All the quarterbacks were a tight-knit group.

You were a pitcher on the USC baseball team for a season. What was your "out" pitch? If they didn't hit it out. I would have to say my fastball was my "go-to" pitch.

You play backgammon with fellow rookie Logan Mankins. Who is the better player? He's gotten too good. He's better. He has been practicing and now he's like a professional backgammon player.

ON THE FIELD

What is the toughest thing about the NFL that most people wouldn't know? The misconception that it is not as mental as it is. It is very intense and difficult when it comes to preparing.

In your mind, what makes a great teammate? Somebody who is supportive and somebody who has your back. Individuals that go out of their way to make you a better player.

You played tight end at USC during your junior year. Could you suit up at the position in the NFL? If they asked me to. If it helped me keep my job.

How much have you learned from Tom Brady and Doug Flutie about playing quarterback in the NFL? I have learned more in these last six months being here than I have learned in my entire life playing football. It's amazing to see the time and the effort those guys put in.They have been great to learn from.

THIS OR THAT

College Football BCS or playoff format? Playoff. I think you take the top four teams or the top eight. You can still have all the bowl games. But it will never happen.

Championship Game starting quarterback: Carson Palmer or Matt Leinart? Carson for the first quarter, Matt for the second quarter and me for the second half.

Blackjack or poker? Poker. I lose too much at blackjack. Eva Longoria or Jessica Simpson? Eva Longoria. I have a thing for brunettes.

Use the phone or drop an e-mail? Use the phone because it is more personal.

Dine in or eat out? Eat out. Macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the only things you are going to get from me.

JUST FOR FUN

If you had a free one-way plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? California. I have to be where my roots are.

If you could only invite three celebrities to a party, who would they be? Bill Clinton would be very interesting to talk to. Eva Longoria to spice things up. Troy Aikman would be awesome to talk to as well.

Name the perfect golf foursome? TigerWoods and Phil Mickelson can play together. I would definitely bring along Tom Brady because he can play and I can't. I would like to sit there and watch the whole thing unfold.

If you could set up one of your teammates on the MTV show Punk'd, who would you pick? Tom Brady without a doubt. If Ashton wants to call me, we can come up with something.

Retire Without Taxes!

Only one savings plan gives you the chance to free yourself from taxes in retirement. Are you making the most of it?



1. How is a Roth different?
Think of a Roth as the mirror image of a regular IRA or 401(k): Instead of collecting a tax benefit up front, you get your break at the back end. When you fund a traditional IRA, you can take an immediate tax deduction on your contributions, but you then pay income taxes when you pull your money out. When you open a Roth IRA you're not entitled to a deduction, but you can withdraw all your money, including earnings, tax-free. The Roth 401(k) works the same way.

Mathematically, there's no difference between getting a tax break at the beginning or end. All else being equal, you end up in the same place whether you pay taxes at the outset or in retirement.

A Moment of Zen: Belen Rodriguez (NSFW)


Meet the beautiful Argentinean Belen Rodriguez! She is a professional model. Though she has basically gotten her recognition in Italy for her relationship with the Milanese soccer player, Marco Borriello. Lucky Bastard..........PICS......NSFW

Study: Most U.S. banks not yet compliant with identity theft rules

Boston Business Journal

Less than one-third of U.S. banks will be fully compliant with the U.S. government’s identity theft prevention rules by the November 1 deadline, according to a new study.

With the deadline looming, research by Needham, Mass.-based TowerGroup found that many U.S. financial services institutions have mistakenly considered compliance with the “Red Flags Rules,” as they are known, as merely an administrative exercise.

As a result, according to the research, most banks will need to take rapid action to meet the more stringent regulatory demands.

Those demands, designed for banks by the government to help identify and prevent fraud related to consumer identity theft are known as “Red Flags Rules.” The rules were issued in Nov. 2007 and are titled in full, “Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies Under the Fair and Accurate Transactions Act of 2003.”

The new requirements focus on how banks need to implement technological and procedural frameworks to support ongoing efforts to detect and prevent fraud.

U.S. financial institutions will spend more than $200 million on both internally developed and vendor-supplied technology to comply with the rules, according to the TowerGroup’s estimate.



All contents of this site © American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.

9/11 - Trying to move on



Construction continued yesterday at ground zero in lower Manhattan as the city prepared for today's seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Construction continued yesterday at ground zero in lower Manhattan as the city prepared for today's seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks. (Scott Lewis for the Boston Globe)

NEW YORK --Seven years ago today, terrorists flew the plane carrying my father into the World Trade Center.

The crash of American Airlines Flight 11 was an extraordinarily public event. The death of the man who gave me my passion for sailing, baseball, playing the guitar, and telling a story is my private tragedy. I've never wanted to mix the two, the public with the private.

Everyone has seen the grainy video of the Boeing 767 slamming into the North Tower and exploding into flames. I've seen it far too many times. Every Sept. 11, countless memorial services, blood drives, and charity events commemorate the day. I've never been to any of them. Tens of thousands have paid their respects at ground zero. I had never been able to bring myself to come here.

Until now.

As a son, I decided it was time to finally visit the place where my father died, and try to move on. And what I saw is that ground zero has moved on, too.

In some ways, the locus of one of America's greatest tragedies has become just another storied block in this storied city, as normal as the passenger planes that descend over the Manhattan skyline on a clear September morning like silver dragonflies.

The place where the World Trade Center once stood is a cavernous construction project surrounded by bustling streets where vendors hawk photos of the burning towers and other Sept. 11 memorabilia to passing tourists; bankers and brokers rush to and from their offices with barely a glance toward the site where the foundations for buildings are being laid; and the roar of buses and tractors drowns out ordinary conversation.

As I watched men in orange hats navigate the warren of concrete and gravel, a spectator spoke up. "When do you think it will be finished?" he asked.

His name was Walter Saravia, a student at New York City College of Technology. When the first plane hit, Saravia was nearby. He couldn't get the smoke and the sirens out of his head for days. He had been by the memorial a number of times, but yesterday was the first time he had stopped to really look.

"It's like a bad memory you subconsciously avoid," Saravia said as he stared through a mesh wire fence at the giant ramp leading down to the floor of the site, lined by the flags of the nations whose citizens died in the Sept. 11 attacks. "When you're from the city, you start to take for granted what is here."

Today, families of the victims will be allowed to go down the ramp and lay flowers at the site. But the rest of the ceremonies will be held on a stage across the street from ground zero. They started doing that last year, instead of marking the day in the pit, according to Victor Valdez, a security guard at the site.

"It's a construction site now," Valdez said. "But it's also a meaningful place."

Valdez lost three friends here. Part of his job is to escort family of the victims to a small trailer inside the fence where, in a quiet and secluded spot, they can leave pictures and other mementos of the ones they lost. So I went in, and for a while, I searched the walls for a picture I knew I would not find.

Back outside the fence, in contrast to the solitude, ground zero seemed even more of a tourist attraction. Two young women from Kazakhstan, stopping by on their way to see the Statue of Liberty, pored through a picture book they got from a vendor depicting the explosions as the planes crashed into the towers, their collapse, and the grim aftermath in agonizingly graphic detail.

An Italian couple, Paolo and Danila Beraldi, stopped by the site to snap a picture of the construction cranes over ground zero; they had arrived in New York on Tuesday night, and "we felt we had to come here," Danila Beraldi said. The Sinclair family, of Belfast, took in the site during a layover on their way to Florida for a vacation.

"You couldn't come to New York and not see it," said Avrill Sinclair, who remembers The Troubles in Northern Ireland, which her three children are too young to have lived through. "When you look at it, it's hard to imagine such a terrible thing. It's a day we'll never forget."

John Morabito, a New York City firefighter with Ladder 10, isn't likely to forget the day, either. He was in the lobby of the North Tower when the South Tower collapsed, causing a shock wave that threw him in the air. He was amazed he walked away with no injuries. Yesterday Morabito was yucking it up with visitors, selling Ladder 10 T-shirts and posing with tourists for pictures.

So this was the place where the wars I covered for the Globe in Afghanistan and Iraq began. I watched this scene and wondered whether I should be trying to grieve in this public place. Even here, especially here, my thoughts were dominated by the grainy video of the plane. How and where did he die? On the ground? In the air? What was he thinking in those last moments? Where is he? Authorities found only a bit of bone, which they sent us in 2002 and we buried in a coffin smaller than a mailbox. What became of the rest?

Perhaps, as the parents of another victim suggested near the scene, his ashes were spread all over New York.

Across the street, I walked into a small museum dedicated to the tragedy of the towers and, again, searched through hundreds of pictures in vain.

Before I walked back out into the busy crowds and the bustling streets with the silver planes floating overhead like harmless dragonflies, before I left ground zero behind, I turned to a corner where, under the words "In Memoriam," a list of the victims was etched in stone.

That's where I found Al Filipov's name. I guess that's what they call closure.

David Filipov can be reached at filipov@globe.com.

A Strategy for Coping with Climate Change


Delta blues: A modeling effort suggests that as sea levels rise, it won’t be cost effective to save some tracts of low-lying land in California’s Sacramento Delta, shown here.
Credit: Public Policy Institute of California

A new multidisciplinary modeling effort concludes that certain tracts of land in California's Sacramento Delta should be abandoned the next time they flood, and that major California water-supply inlets in the area should be rerouted. The study indicates the kind of land-preservation and infrastructure triage that will become increasingly necessary in the face of rising sea levels and climate change.

"It's always difficult and controversial to look at these kinds of things," says Jay Lund, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis, who co-led the study. "For those delta landowners where the policy has been historically to help them--they would be losers. But I don't see any way they are not going to be losers, so the state policy should be that we all quit losing." This week, Lund spoke about the study at a California Energy Commission conference on climate-change research, held in Sacramento.

The Sacramento Delta is where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers converge with each other and meet incoming salt water from the San Francisco Bay. The area is a source of fresh water for agribusiness and more than 20 million Californians. Within the delta, tracts of land have been reclaimed over the past century, mostly for farming. Earthen levees--which, if put end to end, would stretch more than 1,000 miles--keep water-supply inlets fresh and reclaimed areas dry.

But a combination of settling land, rising sea levels, and the prospect of levee destruction from earthquakes have long threatened the area. In 2004, when a delta levee unexpectedly collapsed, the state and federal governments rushed in to repair it, spending more than $75 million. However, the effort protected land worth only $22 million. "Throwing a lot of money at a low-value private asset is not something you want to do with taxpayer money very often," says Richard Howitt, an economist at UC Davis who participated in the study. "We wanted to put a lot of work into what really amounts to a triage list--and say which islands, if they collapse, we say, 'Sorry about that,' but you don't repair them or pump them. You adjust to a new ecology." (By "islands," Howitt means low-lying tracts protected from surrounding water by levees.)

The study--which spanned disciplines including civil engineering, climate science, economics, hydrology, and biology--specifies a precise boundary between areas that should and shouldn't be saved. It also recommends that long-considered plans to build a canal to divert water supplies from points upstream on the two rivers should be carried out now; the present inlet points cannot be protected from salt-water incursion in the long term. The canal proposal was defeated in a 1982 referendum, but ultimately, Lund says, some environmental concerns about the canal's construction will be moot, because unstoppable salt-water incursions will reshape the area's ecology. Indeed, the study notes that its recommendations for the delta are "one example of how climate-change will shake-up long-cherished notions of environmental management and sustainability."

"Unless we get some serious modeling," Lund adds, "we're never going to get ahead of these changes. We're just going to be reactive."



Throwing in the towel: In this graphic of the Sacramento Delta region, light blue indicates low-lying land masses--mostly farmland--that research suggests should be surrendered to the sea the next time the levees protecting them break. Yellow indicates borderline cases.
Credit: Jay Lund

The study even looked in detail at the effects of various topographical changes on fish and the resulting economic costs. "Fish biology is a very complex business, but we sat down with 37 fish biologists, bought them a nice lunch and quizzed them and got a proper statistical distribution of their beliefs of certain species' surviving under certain scenarios, and came up with economic decision models," Howitt says. "We are not the only ones doing this, but we are probably one of the more comprehensive. What we've done is quantitatively link the different disciplines."

The analysis would seem to have sobering implications. In terms of sea-level rise, expensive infrastructure investments will have to be made--or willfully not made--in parts of New Orleans, the Everglades, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands, to name just a few obvious spots.

On a more subtle level, climate change will profoundly affect water supplies everywhere, because it will bring deeper droughts, changes in rainfall timing and intensity, and reduced mountain snowpack. "The critical issue is that it will change our planning paradigms, and it will change the information we use to make decisions," says Richard Palmer, a civil engineer and water-resources expert at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who praised the California study. Planning appropriately to keep tap water flowing, Palmer says, will require more such studies that cross disciplines, drawing on climate and atmospheric science, hydrology, civil engineering, and economics.


FeedM8 - Go Mobile