Alternate History Thursday:- Falling Skies

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Please don’t watch that terrible TNT show.  Instead, read the rest of this story and be amazed at the actual history that you missed out by being born in this reality, and not the alternate one that I’m about to describe.

We still don’t know where the millions of people who inhabited NYC daily went.  I mean, the ones from Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx probably meshed into the rest of the country with little oversight or fuss.  Staten Island and Manhattan on the other hand, those people were locked out, but all of a sudden, there were a few thousand left.  Just how empty the islands were remained a mystery until October 13th, no it wasn’t a Friday.

A pair of USAF F-15E Strike Eagles were making their bi-daily pass over mid-down Manhattan when out of nowhere a SAM was coming at them.  This was odd because of 2 reasons.  Firstly, all previous attacks came from lower Manhattan, and Harlem – close to the borders of the Island.  And secondly, the last attack was over 6 weeks ago.  Conventional wisdom was that the RNYers were out of rockets, and with the entire island embargoed, they had no way to replenish themselves.

One pilot managed to avoid the missile, but the other was hit dead on.  He successfully ejected, but due to the low altitude passes they were doing above city, the plane and the other missile went directly into multiple buildings in midtown.  I know what you might be thinking, destruction on a 9/11 scale.  Well, you’re partially correct.  The buildings, nondescript office/residential towers were utterly destroyed.  The military, the media, and the world assumed that hundreds, perhaps thousands of people were dead or dying as the buildings burned and crumbled.  What’s more, days went by before the fires were fully put out.  From the outside, it seemed like no effort at all was made to save anybody.  Any planes that flew by low were shot at (no more were shot down), the only information came from high flying U-2s.  They showed damage, but also an empty city.

There was no evidence of people in the city at all.  The buildings showed little to no heat signatures, the streets were bare and unmoving, nothing was happening, and no one could figure out where everybody went.

The pervailing theory was the subway system.  People were holed out in the subways, and that old, forgotten tunnels were how the RNYers were getting their supplies.  There was no easy way to prove this.  The President ordered certain key buildings be destroyed, and elite teams of Navy SEALs were sent to infiltrate the subway system.  The buildings were all knocked out via Ship to Surface missiles launched from the harbor.  They stood no chance.  Their destruction was captured on video and broadcast around the world.  The United States was not to be messed with.

The SEALs entered the subways, and found them empty.  They couldn’t do a proper mapping of the thousands of miles of subway tunnels, but they could, to the best of their knowledge, say that the city was empty.  The President ordered the subways to be flooded.  It was a radical idea, and no one was quite sure what would happen, but it was a quiet way to show the RNYers that the game is over, they lost.

Well, it turns out that 100 years of digging and tunneling beneath a city does some damage to the bedrock.  The ground lost alot of weight, and instead of being spread out, it was distributed on points.  Once the water was there those points spread everything out.  Foundations cracked, and buildings lost their footings.

The Mighty Skyline was Falling.

As usual, jump the gun for the video and enjoy your downloaded memory:

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The Laser

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I’ve sunk more hours into playing Halo 3 than I have done a fair amount of other things.  Many a night was spent awake with my stable of friends on Social Big Team Battle.  Usually the 8 of 12-14 of us would get together, sometimes we’d break up into two groups of 6, or 7 this way we could constantly get matched together.  Granted, this was back when there were a few thousand people playing H3 daily, but we still never had much of a challenge getting matches.

Even with all the theater, and the tools at my disposal, I rarely went back to re-watch videos of my crazy amazing kills, and crazy amazing deaths.  I was having too much fun playing the games themselves and trying to make new crazy amazing experiences.

I’m not quite sure if any video game will ever be able to recreate that level of experience I had with Halo 3.  I wore out multiple Xbox 360 controllers playing that game.  I Red Ringed an Xbox 360, and I have more deaths than kills, but I had some great time, with some great guys back in the hay day of online gaming.

I still miss it, and I want to play.  I think I will dust if off this weekend.  I just hope that I can find a match.

{reddit}

VR Mario Kart

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I gotta say, I never really was a fan of the Virtual Reality games and ideas.  But watching this side by side video of what the user sees, and how they have to interact with the game to play, I like it. A lot.  Is it practical for home use, not a chance.  Would I pay $5 for a $5 minute experience at a mall, or an amusement park or other event, heck yes.

{reddit}

Rt. 1

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Route 1 LEGO

An intrepid designer built Route 1 from the original Pokemon games (possibly from Gold/Silver, not Red/Blue).  I like the various touches of trainers, and “wild” Pokemon that appear throughout the level.

Pokemon was something of a revolution back in the day.  I remember my first time I beat the Elite Four.  I was so nervous and worried that I would run out of potions, or revives, or something.  Even to this day, I get worried, even with my level 97 Dodrio, I still don’t think I’m worthy sometimes. Man, I should go play X again, it’s been awhile, I bet the guy I sent to the Global Trade Center finally got traded!

{Reddit}

I’m Back

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I never really was “gone”

So Many Faucets

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Seriously, who knew that the lonely faucet had so many new ways to operate?  If you don’t believe me, search for “faucet” on Yanko Design, (or just click that link).  At the time of this writing, there’s 13 pages worth.  Sure, some of them are stupid crazy things, but some are actually pretty neat.

This swirling pattern faucet is what first sparked my interest.

swirling faucet

It is neat, and it probably is less harsh on your hands, but I don’t know 2 things.  1 – how much water it will actually save.  There’s the paradox of you’re using less of something, but that something is so cheap now that you’ll end up using more of it anyway.  In this case, the price of the water hasn’t changed, but the delivery method is so neat that people will watch it more then usual.  And secondly, as someone on imgur pointed out, calcium deposits.

Next on the list is this strange one that directs a waterfall upwards.

water-up

How it’s expected to get this perfect curve I’ll never understand.  Anyone who’s played with a hose will know that that stream will work for about 2 seconds, then fall apart and mess everything up.  The creators think the water fountain like design will make it easier to brush your teeth, I think that’s quite an edge case.  But hey, it’s a free concept!

The Ring Faucet though is my favorite:

ring faucet

I could conceive of this faucet in a bathroom at my house.  Provided I had a wife that would allow it, or a workshop where I could tinker with things that is.  While I don’t share all of the sentimental things that the designer does, I do think that the ring of water falling down is quite cool.  Like most humans, I could watch moving water for hours on end, so I think this might end up needing to go into the guest bathroom where I won’t see it often enough to waste the water.

I totally could put this on the wall and get looks from people though.  What are you supposed to put in that hole?

ring-wall

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How Neat is this?

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That’s pretty neat, that’s what that is. This is what I’m doing this week now, watching Nature, and all the neat things that make it up.

You should really watch the rest of the videos on the channel, they are really well done.  Don’t really take anything he says to heart though, it’s a parody account.  For the most part it’s sane information, but it’s still crazy.  And neat!

Alternate History Thursday: WAR!

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Is good for absolutely nothing.  The song was right about that.  But we’re not talking about that song, we’re talking about something that actually happened.*

When we last left our heroes (or villains as some might call them), The Nation of New York had started a war with the United States of America (Minus New York City).  Most of the bridges connecting Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx had been destroyed months ago in separate acts of aggression, but now things were getting bad.  The aircraft carrier that was dispatched last month was loaded up on refugees and sailed out of the harbor prior to any major conflict, but they didn’t go far.  The President, knowing the options on the table transported them down the coast to Florida, he claimed it was the best place for them.  In reality he was getting them as far away from the blast zones as possible.  While it was unlikely that much would spread past New Jersey, he couldn’t take the chance that radical New Yorkers had traveled far enough out of state to cause problems.

Luckily for America, they have the world’s most powerful Navy, and another aircraft carrier was sent up to collect more refugees.  However, the hurricane prevented docking.  All for the better because of the attack that happened on the city.  Somehow, the rebels had gotten their hands on surface to surface missiles and had mounted them atop most of the tallest buildings in the city.  (As luck would have it, they left The World Trade Center alone, they felt that those towers acted as a nice shield masking the true location of the launches).

The RNYs took potshots at the carrier group, never really doing any damage, but causing headaches.  After a week of non-stop attacking, the President played hardball and ordered a response.

Things did not go well.

Citi Corp Building

The City Corp Building was demolished.  To the average RNY, this was motivation enough to surrender.  But the ruling class had too much pride, or more likely too much stubborn New Yorker in them to give up that easily.  They hunkered down and spread out.  The last of the known tunnels out of Manhattan were used to spread themselves and their explosives wide.  The President was not going to start an urban war on the streets of the most famous city in the world, so he had the Air Force keep buzzing the building tops trying to demotivate the populace.  Unbeknownst to them, no one was in those buildings.

Where they went is still a mystery, but once it was discovered that the island was nearly empty, all bets were off the table, bad things were about to happen.

*in an alternate reality, duh.

As is customary

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Rocky Mountain!

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On my ever dwindling quest to get to all the National Parks, this week I am making my way towards Rocky Mountain National Park and The Great Sand Dunes National Park.  Both of these parks are within driving distance of Denver Colorado.  I will be there for abit, you can expect my reviews of them probably in October, it takes awhile to go through all the photos I take.

If anyone wants to guess at how many photos I’ll end up taking on this trip, you have between now and October 31, 2017.  Take a guess, the winner will get a photo print of their choice from my trip!