Monthly Archives: December 2014

THE BIG ONE

 

 

 

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Okay people, we are talking about earthquakes. I am presenting some speculation and a great deal of fact about the giant or so-called Mega Earthquakes that will cause massive destruction and loss of life to a Ring of Fire location near you.

Why am I bringing this up? It kinda fits in my areas of interest that I talk about in this blog. I write both science fiction and non-fiction and this is in my wheelhouse of non-fiction work, although you could certainly imagine the fantasy-fiction possibilities as well.

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The 1994 Northridge Earthquake occurred at 4:40:55am, January 17th. The 6.7 magnitude earthquake was centered in the San Fernando Valley north of the Los Angeles. The earthquake woke up that morning all but the unconscious with a 20 second shake tapering off at 45 seconds that was felt as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada. The earthquake was shallow, at a depth of 11.4 miles below the surface of the earth. Its acceleration was highest ever instrument recorded acceleration on the North American continent. It left 57 people dead and over $20 billion dollars in damage. The blind thrust quake was on a previously unknown fault, now called the Northridge Blind Thrust Fault. Buildings were flattened, gas fires erupted, landslides occurred and the roar from that quake was indescribable. How do I know, I and my family were only 12 miles from the epicenter of that earthquake.

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Within in seconds after the violent shaking began my wife and I were tossed out of our bed. I had enough situational awareness to pull the mattress over our heads, which would have done little to protect us if the house collapsed (the house behind us split in half and separated.) When it was over my shaken wife and two frightened children all reported no injuries. I could see with my flashlight that the house we lived in suffered extensive damage. It would come to be over $45,000 dollars in damage in those 20 seconds…broken windows, smashed appliances, chimney separation and structure damage to the walls and attic cross-beams.

At the time I was working at a radio station, KCSN-FM on the campus of the university Cal State Northridge which sat almost directly over the fault. The damage to the university was catastrophic. The three-story building the radio station was located in pancaked and was totally flattened. Had the earthquake occurred 4 hours later I would not be alive to write this blog.

The damage throughout the city was widespread and long lasting. For my wife and me, that was it for Los Angeles. I had been through the ’71 earthquake as well as the ‘86 and ’87 earthquakes in Los Angeles. We repaired our house and moved the hell outta there.

Considering all that I and 20 million other Southern California residents had been through, that wasn’t even the Big One that has been predicted for several decades. The Big One will produce an earthquake estimated to be an 8.0 in magnitude or higher.

Another “Big One” is also probable for the Oregon Coast along the Cascadia fault. The following huge tsunami will reach the Oregon, California and Canadian coast in minutes with little time for humans to flee. The shaking and wall of water will cause…you can imagine the damage and destruction. New estimates place a 50% chance of an 8.0 or higher quake along the Cascadia Fault within the next 5 years…or maybe the next 5 minutes, who knows.

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Throughout the world there is a possible “Big One” ready to pop somewhere at any moment. Many of you have been through an earthquake, some big, mostly small. But most of you haven’t. And until you have you can’t imagine the feeling of the earth beneath your feet moving, the roar of the jolting earth’s mantle, and the fear of not knowing when it will all stop or if the building you’re in or next to will crush you in a moment.

Earthquakes, in my humble opinion, are the most powerful force of nature. I understand the destruction of hurricanes, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, fires, floods, mudslides, heat, cold… should I go on? But earthquakes, and I’ve been through a few, are scary as hell.

Now, if I can just translate that apprehension and fear to the page through my written words. A new novel? Let me think about that.

 

Frederick Fichman

http://www.frederickfichman.com

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Oh yeah, a new movie, “San Andreas” starring Dwayne Johnson, is set to be released May 29, 2015 about a magnitude 9  quake that hits California. This movie depicts what “The Big One” will look like when it breaks and the famous San Andreas Fault ruptures. I will be first in line to see this film, it looks great. To see the movie trailer visit the movie website at: http://sanandreasmovie.com/

 

Holiday Book Sale

 

 

 

 

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HOLIDAY BOOK SALE

50% OFF

$2.99 EACH

Wednesday 12-24-14 to Tuesday, 12-30-14

Sale is on NOW!!

Available on Amazon Kindle

Click on Book Covers above or Book Title links below to be taken directly to Amazon.com

Load up your new smartphone, tablet or computer with these great books. “The SETI Trilogy” is science fiction at its best, three books in one anthology for only $2.99. “Visit the Zoo, “12 Book Anthology contains over 120 of your favorite zoo animals in word and photography, only $2.99. Both books on sale from Wednesday,     12-24-14, 8:00am PST till Tuesday, 12-30-14, 11:00pm PST.

Here are some great book reviews from Amazon Kindle for “The SETI Trilogy”:

5.0 out of 5 stars All three Seti books together August 22, 2014

By NicholasFormat:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Finally all three Seti books together in this easy to download Trilogy. Frederick Fichman is aconsummate master Science Fiction Storyteller, and you can have no better experience than to explore the world of Seti along with this gifted writer… get it NOW !

5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Fichman is a superb writer. The SETI … July 4, 2014

By Adam R. Mayberry

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Mr. Fichman is a superb writer. The SETI series is a powerful and enjoyable read on extraterrestrial life. I can only hope the series will turn into a screenplay for a motion picture.

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great, thought provoking story August 28, 2014

By Terri Stibel

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

This is a great, thought provoking story. If you have a hard time believing that we are alone in the universe, this is a trilogy for you!

5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction For Teenagers and Adults August 21, 2014

By John M. Heller

Format:Kindle Edition

If you love science fiction then these books are great. They draw you in and ends up being a great trilogy

 

THE SETI TRILOGY

VISIT THE ZOO, 12 Book Anthology

 

And from my family to yours, have a wonderful Holiday Season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Frederick Fichman

Living on the Planet Mars…Forever

Mars

 

Post: December 3, 2014

Okay, I get it. I understand. I can imagine traveling to the south of France to the French Riviera to the Cote d’Azur and living there, permanently.

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I can imagine and understand getting a beach house in the small beautiful semi-secluded beach community of Hana on Maui in Hawaii and moving there, living there, permanently.

What I CAN NOT understand is riding in a tin can spacecraft for a transit time of, plus or minus, 260 days, 9 months, landing on the planet Mars with no breathable air, no vegetation and no grocery stores and living there permanently.

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But that is what the non-profit corporation Mars One is suggesting that the human race buys into for its first scheduled launch of four pioneers on or about the year 2025. Mars One estimates a cost of about 6 billion for the transport and living equipment costs for the first four settlers. And every 2 years when Mars is on close approach to orbit with planet Earth another four settlers will travel to Mars at a follow-on cost of about 4 billion dollars. That’s one billion USD per passenger. Where the money for that is going to come from I really don’t know.

As a writer of Science Fiction and an avid space travel advocate all my life I am all for both man and unmanned space exploration from whatever country attempts that lofty goal. But, in my opinion, I think Mars One may just be a bit too far out on a limb. But, I may be wrong, I don’t think so, but I have my doubts. However, 200,000 people have already signed up with 705 potential astronaut/cosmonaut settlers being considered to be one of the first four to attempt this permanent settlement on Mars.

I would like to ask several generic questions about this mission. I will answer my own questions but I want you to consider how you would answer as well.

First of all, you are not coming back home to Earth, at least that’s the plan. Mars will be your home for however short or long you live. When we recently moved to our new home in Northern Arizona we considered air quality, quality of life, commercial-retail infrastructure, environment, entertainment, restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, doctors, hospitals and other health care infrastructure. So my first very important question is: If you get sick on Mars or have a medical emergency that requires a surgeon, internist, gynecologist, or, God forbid, an oncologist, where do you go on Mars for those services?

Second, ever try freshly picked Dole Butter lettuce with the roots still intact? Delicious. That lettuce form factors lasts many days longer than iceberg lettuce. If you like hydroponic vegetables, you are in luck in Mars habitation strutures. But I love Chicken Kiev, or Ribeye Steak or a nice piece of fresh wild salmon. Question, are there Safeway grocery stores on the surface of Mars? Well, what about freeze dried…whatever? I can’t imagine living off an endless supply (maybe not so endless) of freeze dried food. There is nothing for breakfast like a fresh baguette of French bread just out of the oven topped with a dab of fresh sweet butter.

Third, I am guessing that most of the applicants are young. Hormones are surging and the natural drive to mate will be strong. Even with the old farts who sign up, having a loving partner seems to be a fairly basic human need. You have vivid imaginations so you can fill in the blank with the question and the answers and the vast number of possibilities for mating solutions and requirements.

Ya see where I am going with all of this? Just think of how you roll through your everyday life to determine what solutions may have to occur on Mars for the settlers cooped up in shipping-like containers throughout their life spans.

Tonight, a Pacific Ocean storm has swept in and over California and has moved to our 5,000 elevation mountain chain where we live. I just stepped inside from listening to rain gently splashing on our patio. The air was cool but it was sweet. I would miss that.

I can remember a recent trip to the nearby Grand Canyon and standing at rim at sunset staring down into that beautiful pallet of reds and browns as the sun cast its final golden glow. I would miss that.

This afternoon we came back from a shopping trip and an early lunch. Watching the people laughing, talking, interacting with each other…I would miss that.

I know there are individuals who love to live alone near the Arctic Circle or in small habitations on the Sahara Desert or the Gobi Desert. I understand that there are some individuals who would rather live alone. But in a Mars One you would not be alone. Privacy, yeah right. Food selection and freshness, yeah right. The ability to step outside of a home at sunrise and smell the freshness of the air and the sweetness of a nearby blooming jasmine bush…while you are encased in an airtight pressurized space suit…ALL THE TIME?

This is where I think Mars One will contribute. They do have sponsors. They do have a noble vision. But I think that vision, that work, that research to prepare for that first mission will be repurposed in Mars settlements that are temporary  where crews are rotated in and out on a regular bi-annual time frame. That is what I think will be the greatest contribution for the Mars One venture. And for that I wish them the best of luck.

You can find more information about Mars One at: www.mars-one.com

You can find more information about me and my books at: www.frederickfichman.com

 

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I’m gonna leave this post up for awhile longer…I just saw this great article posted up by the New York Times just a short while ago. This may help add to the discussion about this Mars One proposed (suicide?) mission: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/a-one-way-trip-to-mars-many-would-sign-up/ar-BBgvzT2?ocid=iehp