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seiche

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seiche

Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:35 am

For persons residing in the Gulf area of the United States, the word below is unfortunately all too topical, as indicated by this article in today's New York Times. But it would seem that this wave will go on oscillating rather longer than the period mentioned in the AHD definition....

Henri

seiche Listen: [ sāsh, sēch ]
n.

A wave that oscillates in lakes, bays, or gulfs from a few minutes to a few hours as a result of seismic or atmospheric disturbances.
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[French dialectal, exposed lake bottom, probably from French sèche, feminine of sec, dry ; see sec[sup]1[/sup].]
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
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Postby William » Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:39 pm

Interesting article, Henri. After last year's hurricane season I either heard or read, I don't remember which, a engineer say that it was not a question of if New Orleans would be innundated by a hurricane, it was a question of when.

This disaster hits close to home, figuratively speaking. One of my nephews who lives (lived) in New Orleans was able to get out with his family. His brother in Mississippi was fine, he lives far enough north that the storm did little or no damage to his home. But their sister who was visiting on Mississippi's Gulf Coast when the storm hit is still unaccounted for. I also have two cousins who lived in New Orleans who are also unaccounted for.

When Hurricane Camille hit New Orleans in 1969 one of my aunts was missing for several days before we finally heard from her. Neither she nor any of her family were harmed but they lost everything they owned.

William
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Postby KatyBr » Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:44 pm

I have friends, a Minister and his wife and child, (the wife is my dear friend) who moved to New Orleans from Minnesota to minister there. I wrote to her just before the hurricaine made landfall and I got a reply last night that they were safe in Tennessee. While I knew God would take care of them I was also praying they weren't suffering in New Orleans.

Kt
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:35 pm

William, please allow me to share your hopes that your relatives will soon turn up, safe and sound. And let us hope that the necessary conclusions are drawn regarding what was done and not done to prepare for an event which, as you point out, was widely known to be inevitable. Even if, as I believe, our activities do influence the climate, we don't control the weather (and, given our record on the things we do control, I can't help thinking that to be a good thing), but we do have a certain amount of control over the consequences of that weather (cf building regulations in earthquake-prone regions)....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby William » Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:11 pm

Thank you, Henri. We have heard from all of our affected relatives and they are all safe, though at least one of my cousins has lost her home.

I agree with your hope that the correct conclusions were drawn. I also hope that not too much energy is spent in assessing blame, I think there's plenty of that to go around. Rather, I hope that a great deal of time is spent in examing what went wrong, why it went wrong and how to keep it from going wrong in the future.

I have faith in a principle that was explained to me many years ago: that is that when you put a bureaucrat in charge of anything you're going to have some problems. In the U.S. Federal bureaucracy there are many people who have never been outside of Washington D.C.'s beltway, and who make decisions that impact the rest of the country. I can tell you that in many cases this creates a great deal of amusement, in others a great deal of pain.

I must point out, though, that a small percentage of bureaucrats are actually effective, but I don't think that there are enough of them to make any real difference except in isolated cases.

William
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:27 pm

My experience, William, is that, in countries with a standard of living such that low-level public officials are not invariably forced into corruption simply in order to survive, the quality of the work done by bureaucrats is most often related to the organisation of the bureau and the leadership exerted by the top levels, i e, the organisation's «culture». Individual variations, of course, exist with regard to competence and dedication, but on the whole, I find the above-named factors to be crucial. If I were considering «how to do a better job next time» (whether related to Katrina or more generally), this is where I should start....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE


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