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Where was I on the night of the 19th? >

[Comments] (3) How Dead Will You Be?: PBS used to have a morbid web page that would show you the blast radii of various types of nuclear weapon superimposed over a map of your hometown, provided by the aptly-named MapBlast. Now it's just a bunch of static HTML with descriptions of how you really don't want to be anywhere near a nuclear blast. The sample map image is the only thing thing that proves I wasn't hallucinating it all.

Kris figured they took down the interactive portion because of 9/11, which makes total sense. Previously, terrorists would only have had to obtain a nuclear device if they wanted to blow up a city. Now, they have to obtain a nuclear device and a map and compass! But what about other methods of horrible destruction, as yet out of human control? Are there convenient, non-terror-enabling online forms that show you how dead you will be? I decided to do some searching and find out.

Well, I think that covers most of the SimCity disasters. Maybe the raw power of a nuclear explosion or an asteroid strike are what let you make a calculator that doesn't get hung up on the topography of the landscape or the size of a particular volcano.

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Comments:

Posted by Zack at Mon Apr 19 2004 23:02

It says something about me, I'm sure, that I went and calculated the effects of throwing one-meter iron spheres at the earth at substantial fractions of the speed of light.
I suspect it's not taking relativistic effects into account; the damage done by a .9c cannonball is rather more modest than I would expect (even if I adjust the density by the Lorentz factor), and it doesn't register any objection to 10c.

Posted by Brendan at Mon Apr 19 2004 23:47

There has to be a Godzilla damage table somewhere in GURPS. If not, somebody ought to write it. There would be reductions based on the Cute Gamera Kid factor, and bonuses for whether his tail was, in fact, as long as this bus.

Posted by Adam P. at Tue Apr 20 2004 11:40

If you're just interested in the Bay Area, you can see whether or not your house would be destroyed by earthquakes along various faults using ABAG's earthquake shaking maps.


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