I don't know (mainly because no one is making any comments and I can't find a reputable source to confirm), but I think that the solar flares that are sweeping earth and knocked out China's short wave radios two days ago are slowing down the internet. I did a speed check after I couldn't get much work done today (like I was really doing much reporting anyway) and found that my web was working 212 times slower than it should be.
If anyone has seen their GPS going bonkers or cell phones or other wireless type and satellite dependent devices let me know. (Comments are always welcome.)
But what has me pondering this particular event (and, you ask, what does this have to do with your usual political rant??) is this was a fairly large event, but nothing like what we could be experiencing in the next few years.
The past eleven years the sun has been at solar minimum. And last year there were barely any sunspot activity to speak of. Also, the last major flare activity of any consequence occurred during a period in our development that did not depend so heavily on electronic devices. GPS, cell phones, OnStar (tm), wireless webs and even wireless power stations dominate our daily lives. And don't even get me started on what chaos would ensue were our TV remotes and Wii controllers stop working!!! Akkkkkkkkk!
But back to the thought at hand.
What is our government doing about planning for such an event? Nada, people. Zip. Zilch. Zero effort being extended. But oh they are getting themselves ready for the 2012 elections, you can be sure. Healthcare. Illegal immigrants. Jobs. The economy. Expansion of government. Denial of states' sovereignty. Don't ask, don't tell. You know, all the important hot button issues that make for great sound bites.
On the other hand, we may not want these boneheads in politics to start dealing with this. Remember what stupidity and junk science (on both sides) that came out of the partisan political rhetoric about global warming?
No, maybe it should be up to us, the citizens of America to do something about the possible dark ages impact a BIG flare might leave us in for a few days or weeks. Maybe private industry can put some resources on this problem. maybe the average Joe inventor could tackle this. Maybe we can show the politicians what to do rather than wait for them to tell us what to do. (Remember the stupid debacle of the outlaying of light bulbs in favor of ones that you need a HAZMAT cleanup if you drop it on the kitchen floor?)
AT this point I'm not even sure what it is I'm talking about today for you to agree or disagree with. Maybe the solar flares are messing with my cerebral electrical signals. Either way, as usual, it doesn't matter much. Because it is just me, Thinking Out Loud.
Have a great day.