Friday, August 21, 2009

Tornado Warning

It was raining cats and dogs this afternoon. (Now we have dead pets everywhere.) It occurred to me, as I looked out the window, that I am, after all, a SKYWARN storm spotter for the National Weather Service. Maybe I ought to call in, so the people in Building 2 know what it's like over at Building 4.

But I didn't. And maybe I should have, so they'd get the news earlier. See this warning below? It says it was sent at 7:07, and I received it at 7:18.
------ Original Message ------
Received: 07:07 PM EDT, 08/21/2009
From: "Alert Montgomery"

The National Weather Service has issued a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING for Montgomery County until 7:15. Doppler radar indicated a thunderstorm approaching the County which has intensified well past severe limits.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ebola Follies, Part 2

[Click here to read Ebola Follies, Part 1.]

I finally took the time to finish "The Hot Zone," the book about the Ebola outbreak in Reston, VA in 1989-'90. I'll relate it with some snippets:
"...USAMRIID [U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases] concluded Ebola can spread through the air."

"When he talked to the Washington Post reporters... he was careful not to use scary military terms like 'amplification,' 'lethal chain of transmission,' 'crash and bleed,' or 'major pucker factor.'"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ebola Follies, Part 1

I'm reading "The Hot Zone," a book about an actual Ebola outbreak in the DC area. (I hate it when that happens.) It was about 20 years ago, and started at a monkey house in Reston. ("Which one?" you ask? Reston has so many.)

Monkeys imported to the U.S. were quarantined for a month, to make sure they weren't carrying a disease. After an unusual number started dying, the company vet sent samples to U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Maryland. "Samples," meaning a test tube and chunks of monkey flesh in aluminum foil.