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awesome DIY the greatest

Skyline Shades

Skyline Shades

The Ukraine company HoleRoll has these ace blackout blinds for windows.  Through (I assume) laser cutting fabric and material, you get a gorgeous shadow/lightbox view of either the Manhattan Skyline, the London Skyline, or the general night sky.  Unfortunately, the prices are quite high – $178 for one pane of the panel.  That’s the base price, before you put measurements in and choose other options.  I can tell you this much, I’m not about to spend over $500 on window shades – for a single room.  They look high quality, I bet I could make my own though.

{reddit}

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awesome Deadly Computer the greatest

Alternate History Thursday: – Mexico

Those lights were bright on Broadway you know.  Wonderful, colorful, beautiful lights.  In a geological instant they were snuffed out, flooded, and destroyed.  SONY (Sinking of New York), had cataclysmic effects across the world, though none as great as the immediate south of The United States of America.  I’m talking about Mexico.  Specifically, the sovereignty of Mexico.  A couple hundred billion dollars of gold bullion is enough to buy pretty much any country.  When you couple that gold with the organized crime families of NY, you get an offer you can’t refuse. The NY Crime families collapsed under a singular rule.  The name of the family is not important, it actually changed to a combination of all the remaining names.  While the mafia was well connected, the only way the could survive SONY was by joining together.  Additionally, a common enemy in the US Federal government (which I guess was always an enemy, but now it was different), forged bonds which never existed before.

The mafia – under the control of Sidney, slowly moved anyone which wanted off the island out.  They bought boats and submarines, tunnel boring machines and go-karts.  Anything they could that would help them move forward.  Scouts originally in Florida took in the general public from the north, and moved further South and West.  The Government of Mexico was very welcoming to this influx of (mostly) legal wealth.  Within months, the mafia was in total control of the country of Mexico.

Having spent quite a bit of money bribing the Mexican Government, the Mafia was now in possession of a legal money making machine, and a sovereign government to make themselves legitimate across the globe.  The FBI supported this move, and it’s speculated that FBI moles within the NY Crime families secretly helped with the covert evacuation of Manhattan.  The citizens of NYC didn’t really know what or how anything was happening, most of them were moved in darkness.  The census of 2000 however showed a huge spike in the residents of Florida, an unnatural spike.

Now, 17 years later, people are still alive, but memories fade.  Children remember tall tales of epic adventures, which were really normal car rides underground.  It’s hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction.  Most of the adults are keeping quiet because the Mafia did help them move, and you never tattle on the Mafia, especially now that they are a major trading partner of the United States.  The older generation on the other hand, they are more open about the past, once you get a drink or two in them that is.  But their tales are almost as far-fetched as the children’s.  Media coverage of the time was lost in a global EMP event that happened 2 years later (the cause of that is still classified, and perhaps a story for next year).  Since then the world has been on high alert.  We like to think that it’s made us stronger as a species, but it’s still the same.  Corrupt politicians in power, crazy programming preventing the robot apocalypse from rising.

One way or another though SONY effected everyone.  Each year on the anniversary different parts of the world remember it in their own way.  After all, New York City was the melting pot for so many different cultures, it’s no surprise that each culture would commemorate it some how.  A full inquiry into the events was undertaken by Congress.  Even through pressure from the media, the public, and the rest of the world, the President would not step down.  His party lost handily in the election of 2000.  In fact, it was credited with starting the Sinker party which pretty much swept the election.  For the time being, The United States is back to a 3 party system.  Though winners are being chosen now, and by the 2024 election, it’s speculated we’ll be back to a 2 party system.  Still, SONY changed the world.  Perhaps for the better.

Now, for one last time, take gander at the music while you listen to the tale:

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awesome Deadly Computer DIY strange the greatest

Alternate History Thursday: – The Shoreline

You would think that the weight of the concrete, steel, glass, asphalt, and all the other crap that’s above ground would be quite high.  You would be correct, but you would also be wrong.  It’s a tricky situation.  When the subways of Manhattan were flooded, the city started to float.  Not the island itself, rather the buildings, and cars, and everything on the island.  All these things that floated started to bang into each other.  Buildings which relied on gravity to keep themselves rooted to a handful of spots on the earth soon found themselves touching everything.  Tunnels originally designed for simple in and out traffic were now subjected to constant weight on all sides.  They failed, causing those around them to fail.  It only took 7 days for the Island of Manhattan to sink into the sea.  The Biblical similarities were not lost on the world.

The sinking of Manhattan was seen as a turning point in the world post Y2K.  Public support for the President vanished virtually over night, and there were calls for his immediate impeachment.  The survivors of the SONY (Sinking of New York), were welcomed around the country.  The SONY Coporation happily changed their name to Conplatter as a sign of respect.  After all, what is America (and New York for that matter) (At least, in this reality) if not appropriating other people’s culture and ideas for our own self-serving interests.

Unfortunately, there was still not many people left from New York.  For all the egotistical people of the city, no one wanted to admit,or make it know where they were originally from.  Whenever you met someone new, they just said that they were from “Up North.”  It became common knowledge that those people were former New Yorkers who wanted to put the past behind them and get on with their lives.  What’s even more interesting is the gold.  Or should I say, the lack of Gold.  Back when this all started, so many months ago, the gold stored in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York served as the catalyst to this whole fiasco.  Now, with Manhattan under dozens of feet of sea water, and crumbled rubble, that gold is no where to be found.

A search was conducted as soon as the dust settled.  Unfortunately, the remains of the various buildings were unstable, and proved too much of a risk for divers.  Unmanned vehicles were cumbersome and difficult to maneuver through the tight alleys formed from the twisted wreckage.  Eventually, all government work looking for the gold was stopped.  After looking at archival footage of the past 6 months, it was determined that the gold was smuggled out the same way that the people were.

How?

Where?

Tune in next month to the shocking conclusion to – AHT!12

Again, if you listen to the song while you read the post, you’ll have such a better time.  Trust me.  Click the link for the best:

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awesome photo video

Crazy Difficult Time-Lapse of NYC

Julian Tryba has a pretty neat Time-Lapse, or layer-lapse as they call it, of New York City:

I admit, that was pretty ace.  Each scene in the video has as many as 300 different layers, all being independently turned on and off to the beat of the music.  A time-lapse done well to music is better than any other boring time-lapse.  This one is pretty dang impressive.  Even more so considering it consists of over 230,000 different photos, spanning over 350 hours of life.  Though, I imagine some of that might have been duplicated with multiple lenses on multiple cameras at the same location.  Either way, it’s a great 2 and a half minutes of your life, trust me.

{Peta Pixel}

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Deadly Computer the greatest

Alternate History Thursday:- Falling Skies

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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a stumble awesome Deadly Computer the greatest video

Alternate History Thursday: WAR!

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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awesome Deadly Computer the greatest video

Alternate History Thursday: Carriers

The President was having nothing of what the city of New York was doing.  With their intent to secede, it was clear that a state of war was about to exist.  However, these were still Americans there, and he didn’t want them all to be punished for the crimes of a select few crazies.  As such, he sent an aircraft carrier out of Norfolk to help evacuate anyone who wanted.  As luck would have it, the entire Yankee team chose to leave.

New Yorkers are a stubborn bunch though, they weren’t going to let this go quietly.  The rioters started to peter out, without electricity there was difficulty getting around the city since the subways were out of commission.  As people left their office buildings and apartment high rises, they realized they would have many flights of stairs to climb if they wanted to return.  Because of this they often just left the city completely.  Buildings which once held thousands of people on a daily basis stood empty.

Those buildings, empty of people and without power soon began to crumble.  Hurricane season is in full force and even though a major storm rarely hits the city, a category 2 hurricane made landfall on NYC.  Some of the buildings, empty of weight and without any power to them began to sway.  One or two fell over in the storm.  The official count is unknown because rebels used the storm as a cover for their counter assault against the acting government of the country of New York.

While it is not known officially who fired the missiles, the official story is radical American Loyalists attempted a coup within a coup to regain control of the island of Manhattan.  It was mostly a failure and ultimately resulted in the first full scale war on the continental United States since the Civil War.  (Unofficially, the CIA funded, and directed the strike in an attempt to re-unify the nation).

The young new nation is about to be in the midst of a war with the most powerful country on the planet.  Even if y2k crippled both sides, most of the military hardware is 40 to 50 years old and in perfect working order.  There’s little New York can do to prevent their own destruction.

Listen to the song, it’s better that way:

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awesome Deadly Computer electronic news internet science strange the greatest

Alternate History Thursday: Electricity Gone

Things have quickly spiraled out of hand in the great city of New York.  Soon after the bridges were leveled, and the tunnels blown up, the Mayor of NYC officially declared his intention to secede from the State.  He wasn’t totally crazy, he wasn’t going to secede from the Union, only the State.  However, the Governor wouldn’t have any of it.  It was either be a part of the state, or leave.  This sentiment was echoed by The President.  The Mayor immediately decided that his gold was worth more then enough to start his own country, and at 8 million people, it would be a respectable country in it’s own right.  Unfortunately, gold would end up being it’s only export.

They would have to import practically everything from the mainland.  This was their weakness.  And so, fittingly, on July 4th, all power to the island of Manhattan was cut off.

The lights had gone out on Broadway.

This is the turning point where the Mayor lost control of his city.  Without electricity those hundred story buildings were impossible to get into or out of.  The water pumps weren’t able to get up all the way either.  Food started to go bad, though there was still a steady supply coming in from approved importers.  Though, that didn’t last long because the union workers on the docks went on strike, or just sailed to the greater NY/NJ/CT area and claimed asylum.  Riots started up along the edges of the city which remained connected to the state.

Through it all, there was a dedicated group of individuals who vowed to fight.  They were determined that if they couldn’t have NY as it was, no one else was entitled to it either.

The city, and the country was about to be on the brink of a war.  Who would survive, who or what would fall, and how much longer will it last?  August is around the corner, and with it come some major anniversaries, will they be honored?

As always, listen to the song while you read, it’s better that way:

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computer electronic news science strange

Alternate History Thursday: Now What Indeed?

Yes, what to do now?  Panic had not ensued yet, though as the day wore on, people were loosing their patience.  A storm was on the horizon for January 03, and people didn’t know if it was still coming, or if it had been blown out to sea.  By 1pm, the Governor of New York declared a State of Emergency, though no one knew it.  The tunnels connecting Manhattan had to be closed and evacuated as the big computer controlled fans had stopped working hours before and deadly exhaust fumes were collecting in them.

Of the surrounding states, only Vermont and Pennsylvania had enacted the proper protections against the bugs.  That didn’t matter much however, as both states were in their own state of emergencies battling the borders.  This wasn’t the dark ages, and this is America after all.  Both states allowed their neighbors to come in for assistance, however, rations needed to be set up, and priority had to be established.

That winter storm that was on the horizon, it came with a vengeance. Twenty-seven inches of snow fell on New York City over the course of 17 hours.   In reality, this was a good thing because it kept most of the populace inside.  With NYC being an old city, much of the heat was powered by older steam boilers with not a computer in sight.  The gas lines to many of them came from private pipe-lines controlled by companies that hardened their systems from attack, and NY being the kind place it is, those without heat were welcome where it was plentiful.

By the end of the week, new equipment was finally distributed to enough people for accurate information to start to be spread.  The President of the United States of America had addressed the nation, and the world confirming the Y2K bug.  This was lucky confirmation to many, though some still felt that the government was hiding the real truth.

What could that real truth be?  Anything really.  However, I’ll let you know a spoiler, Y2K was a man-made bug, nothing alien, or divine, or ancient.  A modern, man-made catastrophe.  Now, was it an act of cyber-war that many were claiming?  That conveniently was not answered in any official capacity.  Even without the internet to fuel the flames, this admission was nothing more than a distraction claimed many.  They took it upon themselves to start a revolution.

I bet you can guess where this is going now…

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awesome Deadly Computer science the greatest

Alternate History Thursday: Times Square

With just days to go before the new year, the world was on it’s toes.  The City of New York was already on lockdown, Streets were closed, screens were being erected, and just as many people were leaving the city as were entering it.  The festivities were reaching a fever pitch as celebrities were slowly streaming into the city ahead of their New Years Eve performances.  Security was tight, and no one knew who was going to be playing what when or where.  It was chaos.  But the good kind of chaos.  Remember, this is a pre-9/11 innocent New York, nothing can go wrong.  That’s exactly the mentality that would prove their downfall.

On New Years Eve, as the time passed by spotty reports from around the globe started to come in of computer failures.  Remember however, this is the early days of the internet, and no smart phones, much of the news was difficult to corroborate or confirm.  People didn’t want to be brought down to reality on this party, so they ignored it.  Cell coverage was spotty at best because of the super saturated towers and lines so no one thought twice when connections were dropped.

It’s countdown time. TEN. NINE. EIGHT. SEVEN. SIX. FIVE. FOUR. THREE. TWO. ONE. BLACK.  Right as the ball was supposed to drop and confetti rain down, Times Square was plunged into darkness.  The majority of the people in Times Square thought this was all a part of the plan.  After all, what better way to celebrate something doom and gloom but by making fun of it.  Since the backup generators that are there for just an occasion kicked on in under 10 seconds, all seemed fine.

To those who were watching on television at home it was a different story.  All at once their TV feed cut out, their electricity turned off, the water stopped working, and phone died.  For those at home, it was no joke.

The state of New York had gambled against Y2k and lost.  But in the beginning it wasn’t apparent how widespread the loss was. It was probably for the better that things like smart phones weren’t around at the time, because it would have caused mass hysteria quicker had they been there.  The people living in the suburbs of New York were left to their own devices.  Since the following day was a holiday, most went to bed after the lights were out and figured it would all work itself out in the morning.  Most all the cars were not effected by the issue simply because they were not technological enough at the time, and those that did work were owned by people who had personal drivers who didn’t use those cars anyway.

All in all, at 12:01 AM January 01, 2000, New York State was in a state of denial.  The populace wasn’t fully aware of the gravity of the situation, and neither was the authorities.  As the night wore on, those who worked for the authorities were woken up to loud bangs on their doors.  The only way to reach people was in person.

Even when the morning newspapers didn’t arrive, most of the general populace didn’t think much, just delivery guys who partied too hard the night before.  No, it wasn’t until around noon that day that word had spread to enough of the people to hit a breaking point.  Y2k happened, and it messed things up.

Now what?