Monthly Archives: May 2010

UM Decides It Can’t Regularly “Lockdown” Thousands of Adults

The following popped up when I logged into UM’s employee website yesterday:

Members of the University community are asked to read these important new safety guidelines.

As part of efforts to help ensure the safety of the UM community, the University has adopted a new protection strategy for on-campus incidents with the potential for loss of life or bodily harm. After extensive research among peer institutions, the
University of Miami Police Department has recommended a “STAY in Place” approach as the best safety practice, as opposed to a campus-wide lockdown.

The key components of the STAY strategy are:

  • S: Secure your area, lock doors and windows, close blinds, prevent suspect from accessing victims.
  • T: Take cover, hide, stay out of sight.
  • A: Advise others so that they can take steps to protect themselves; await further information.
  • Y: You must take measures to protect your safety. Police will be busy with the actual response to the incident and will not be able to direct your personal actions unless you are actively involved.
  • Under the STAY strategy, all buildings and organizational units would use existing emergency plans and, at their discretion, allow others to access their facilities to seek shelter. It is expected that a large number of people would seek shelter-in-place in classrooms and major buildings on the campuses. Any decision to lock down buildings would be made on an individual and localized basis within the framework of managing the overall incident. There are special situations, such as clinical care facilities on the medical campus, for which lockdown would remain a clearly defined strategy that can work in conjunction with STAY guidelines.

    Individuals who are outdoors on campus in an emergency situation need to make the best personal safety decision they can based on common sense, situational awareness, immediacy of the threat, and availability of nearby facilities that may
    provide shelter-in-place options.

    Translated into English, I think this means I, other faculty and staff, and all the graduate and undergraduate students (almost all of whom are also adults), are on our own in an emergency, but at least the cops won’t be distracted by trying to shoot me if I don’t stay under my desk. Given that they push the emergency button fairly often, I think I’m just fine with that.

    I do find it a little ominous how the phrase “lockdown” has migrated from prisons to K-12 and is now it seems common parlance for treatment of staff and students in universities. I guess neighborhoods are next.

    Posted in U.Miami | 3 Comments

    Great Filter

    I love that my email sp*m filter, Sp*mAssassin, has a category called “VANITY” which it defines as “Vanity or fake awards” and assigns 2.1 of the five points needed to be flagged.

    And it seems to work. Although weirdly this test is not listed among the official tests performed. (Is it something special for the academic edition?)

    Posted in Software | Leave a comment

    All (Virtual Worlds) Politics Is Pizza

    Aporia, in The Politics of Frozen Pizza, says “All politics is pizza.”

    The context is governance of online spaces (not therefore regions of, say, scarcity, war, or genocide), but in that realm it's a better metaphor then you might think.

    Posted in Virtual Worlds | Leave a comment

    Librarians Are Cool

    Librarians Do Gaga

    I like it better than the original. (Don't forget the data bases!)

    Posted in Kultcha | 4 Comments

    Saftey Might Have Sold

    Jalopnik: How The U.S. Government Killed The Safest Car Ever Built.

    Not tin foil. It seems to be true.

    Posted in Politics: US | 1 Comment

    Oil Torrent Plugged? Maybe Not

    Not looking so great right this minute:

    BP’s renewed efforts at plugging the flow of oil from its runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico stalled again on Friday, as the company suspended pumping operations for the second time in two days before resuming the procedure Friday evening, according to a technician involved with the response effort.

    Posted in Energy | 1 Comment

    Sign of Progress on Oil Disaster?

    I hope this cautious optimism about stopping the gushing oil in the Gulf is correct. Even so, it's “progress” only in the sense of “not making things even worse.”

    The latest effort to plug a gushing underwater oil well in the Gulf of Mexico appeared to be working, officials and engineers said on Thursday morning, though definitive word on its success was still hours away.

    Disaster junkies may enjoy the live blogging of the efforts to stop the spill.

    Even if they stop it now, though, there's an awful lot of oil in the water.

    At the same time, government experts said that the flow of oil from the well, which has been gushing since an explosion and fire wrecked a drilling rig in late April, was several times worse than the preliminary estimate by BP, the oil company responsible for the rig and the well. If these new estimates prove to be accurate, the spill would be far bigger than the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 and the worst in United States history.

    Posted in Energy | 2 Comments